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Old October 13, 1999, 04:50 PM   #1
othermarc
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but the initial cost seems so high. I saw a neat little reloading kit this weekend for $275, but that did not include dies, casings, bullets or powder. My question is, how long after I start reloading does it "pay for itself".

I'm not a competitor, yet, and have read that handloading is much better than factory loads. is this true?

As you can tell, I know NOTHING of reloading, but I have been keeping a fair amount of used brass in the hopes I will some day be able to do it. How difficult is it to become a competent reloader? I mean, to the point that I can make consistent batches of reliable ammo, not super high quality stuff.
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Old October 13, 1999, 05:42 PM   #2
Racew-1
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You left out some info so I will go with what I have. How much you shoot will decide how long it will take to recover your cost. Reloading is not hard to master but you have to be CAREFUL. Every centerfire rifle that I have had experience with,I could load more accurate than factory.With me it was not just the cost but being able to take a gun and find a load that would perform in that rifle. SATISFACTION. It also makes you shoot more and practice never hurts. Buy a couple of reloading books and do a lot of reading first and you will learn whether or not you want to try this. If you decide to reload, SAFETY FIRST.
Race
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Old October 13, 1999, 09:56 PM   #3
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othermarc, Clinton just passed an executive order placing a moratorium on new reloaders for this year. So use the time to read up some on the subject first like Racer said to see if you are "into it". Then after the moratorium is lifted after the first of the year you can shop around for the best prices and make a more informed decision on what you will really want and need for the kind of reloading you will want to do.

It's a great hobby provided it's persued intelligently.
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Old October 13, 1999, 09:59 PM   #4
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Uh, just kidding about the moratorium.

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Old October 13, 1999, 10:27 PM   #5
Mal H
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Dang it, Contender! You have to add some virtual Librium on your posts when you do that!
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Old October 13, 1999, 10:27 PM   #6
zot
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make sure ya got a good powder measure and
scale, reloads can be ALOT more powerfull than factory crap, and you can reload lead bullets in rifle calibers sub-sonic, you can reload MATCH grade ammo for a .38 special,
you can reload some ammo like .458 Whichester Magnum for 1/10 the cost with lead bullets than factory ammo, you can make
.458 Win mags that have hardly any recoil.
just be carefull and check twice on powder
weights untill ya get some system that is safe for you.:}
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Old October 14, 1999, 12:24 AM   #7
Art Eatman
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You might hunt up a copy of "Shotgun News or The Gun List and look up nearby gun show dates. You can find good used stuff for about half price or so. I'm still loading with stuff which was new in 1950; it does quite well. How used you wanna get?

A C-type press, powder scale and dies are all you need for rifle, basically. A powder measure makes pistol reloading easier. The only part of the deal where you should be careful is inspection of used dies, making sure there are no scratches in the sizing die.

Some stuff you can figure out for yourself. I used to use a screwdriver to clean primer pockets, for instance. And if you have, or a friend has, a drill-press, you can drill holes in a board as a loading-block to hold the cases when you pour in the powder.

Often the guy selling used stuff is also selling lots of "stuff" which is useful: Extra case-holders for the press, case-trimmers, case-mouth reamers...

Go slow, don't be in a hurry, and try to go with an experienced reloader, if you know somebody...

Best luck, it's fun!

Art
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Old October 14, 1999, 09:02 AM   #8
othermarc
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I'm fairly alone in this process. I do have one friend that reloads, and has all the tools in the world for it. Unfortunately, he and I do not live near each other.

I'll definitely do some reading on the subject. as far as how much I shoot, as often as I can. How many rounds I shoot depends on how much time I am at the range. For example, I have used about 1500 rds of 308 win since Feb. I just bought a Garand and would like to shoot it as often, but 30'06 is so darn pricy. I go through .45ammo like Clinton had imposed a moratorium on it (you scared the crap out of me with that one!!!)

I have NO problem with used stuff. I prefer it, so long as it is in working condition. So I'll check for gun shows I can go to. The last one where I live was in May, and have not heard about one since. Where can I get Shotgun News?

Thanks all, great advice and help. I'll be getting a few new books this week.
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Old October 14, 1999, 03:34 PM   #9
Rod WMG
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othermarc,

It doesn't really "pay for itself." What reloading does is to let you shoot about 5 times as much for the same amount of money you spend on factory ammo. (Results vary on based on equipment purchased and components used, but this is about right for me.)

I don't think you'll regret getting into it at all.
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Old October 14, 1999, 04:58 PM   #10
Art Eatman
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Shotgun News is published three times a month. They have a toll-free subscription #, 1-800-345-6923.

One year, 36 issues, is $28.95. I believe you can subscribe for fewer issues per month. Not sure about that...

I usually scrounge back issues at gun stores; same for Gun List. Some news-stands have them.

Good luck, Art
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Old October 15, 1999, 02:43 AM   #11
Bruce in West Oz
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Reloading has to be on of the best things I've taken up in shooting in the past few years.

I enjoy it for the same reason I like calligraphy -- guess you'd call it self-discipline and self-control. I have no need to weigh every powder load I throw, for example, but i do. Why? 'Cause when I pull that trigger I know I'm going to send a good one downrange or into my target.

All my reloading gear, except my callipers and dies, was purchased secondhand. It's not flash or sophisticated (nor am I), but I highly recommend an RCBS Rockchucker press like mine. The scales are Hornady manual scales, slow but sure.

To me, the advantage is I can make rounds up to my specification -- e.g. if there's a chance of seeing goats while out fox hunting, I'll make up some 52-grainers (just a few) to go with the 40-grainers for the fox.

It's great fun and very addictive.

B
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Old October 17, 1999, 05:52 PM   #12
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I don't look at handloading from a cost effective viewpoint. I look at it as a very enjoyable hobby allowing me to try different things than the factory makes, make more accurate ammunition, and also, by the way, saves me some money over factory loaded rounds.
It is a great hobby in and of itself.

Hope this helps, Mikey
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Old October 21, 1999, 10:07 PM   #13
BAB
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Sorry, just noticed the multi-post!

[This message has been edited by BAB (edited October 26, 1999).]
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Old October 21, 1999, 10:08 PM   #14
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I'm looking into getting into reloading myself. I have NO experience or knowledge of any degree on the subject, nor do I know anyone who reloads. Can anyone recommend titles of books/guides that they found useful in getting started? How about good/reliable brands of equipment I ought to keep an eye out for once I decide I've read enough to go out and purchase the necessary items?

Thanks all.

BTW, Contender, you really had me going with that moratorium business! Knowing Klinton and his EOs, I didn't have much reason to not fall for it!
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Old October 22, 1999, 10:02 AM   #15
JoeHatley
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BAB,

Here are a few sites with basic reloader info:
http://www.av.qnet.com/~duane/reloading.html
http://www.pla-net.net/~rcomer/ammo.htm
http://www.rcbs.com

Almost every reloading manual has a section on "how to". You are going to need a couple anyway, so at this point it makes sense to buy one and start the learning process.

Good Luck...

Joe



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Old October 22, 1999, 12:22 PM   #16
othermarc
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I just bought "The ABC's of Reloading" by C. Rodney James ($17.56 on Amazon.com, or $22 from your loacal Barnes & Noble). I have barely began reading but it seems pretty good. I like the writing style, and the use of illustrations and pictures. It has me so worked up about reloading it's all I can do to keep from buying a press before I finish the book.

thanks again to all for the advice.
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Old October 23, 1999, 01:01 PM   #17
TheOtherMikey
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The Speer reloading manual has a pretty complete section on the reloading process. You will need a reloading manual anyhow for load data.

Hope this helps, Mikey

BTW: Shotgun News is on-line at www.shotgunnews.com

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[This message has been edited by TheOtherMikey (edited October 24, 1999).]
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Old October 24, 1999, 10:53 PM   #18
beemerb
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othermarc;
From the amount that you shoot I think you might be a good canadate for a dillon press.Progressive and IMO the best on the market with a lifetime warrente.Call 800-762-3845 and ask them for there Blue Press Catalog.They are good people and very helpful.
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Old October 26, 1999, 05:39 PM   #19
othermarc
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thanks for the advice, beemerb. I've been wondering about that, and I guess I was hoping someone else would say it! I'm still in the "reading phase" but that is something I'm going to keep in mind.

happy shooting
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Old October 27, 1999, 01:31 PM   #20
Jim Fox
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othermarc,

I've just started reloading myself a coyple of months ago, and unlike some of the previous posts, I'm in it for the MONEY.

What it comes down to is how much do you shoot? I shoot my 1911 about 750 rnds a week.
.45 costs about $11 a box retail. I reload for a cost of $2.95 a box. So each week I save about $120.

A previous post mentioned that you don't really save money because you shoot more. I agree completely when I had to buy the ammo retail I would only shoot about 300 rnds a week. So, you do the math. In any case I'm shooting more and enjoying the benifits reloading has to offer.

A final note most commercial ammo is what we consider Hard Ball Loads. Reloading lets me use less powder than in commercial loads(Hey, We're only shooting targets now), and in doing so it reduces the wear and tear on the handgun if it's an automatic.

I've also had very positive experiences with Dillion, and can personally recommend their products and company.



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Later,

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Old October 27, 1999, 02:14 PM   #21
hawkgt
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The inital cost can be high but the improved accuracy/sastifaction of reloading is worth it. I just started reloading a while ago and I;ve been keeping track of costs. After 1000 rounds of JHP ( Hor XTP, Silvertips ) I figure I have "saved" about $300 dollars if I had bought Factory JHP, such as Speer Gold dots, Silvertips, Golden Sabers, etc. ) Compared to factory FMJ I've saved about half. As a rough break down

100 reload JHP
100 Hor XTP bullets ( 16 )
100 Federal Primers ( 1.50 )
Powder ( Win 231 ) ( ~1.70 )
Brass ( 15.00 )
= $33

For the brass I;ve always used brass from FMJ factory loads I've shot, so price is high. Also I paid $17 for a container of Winch 231 powder and done over 1000 reloads so far, so I did some math to figure out cost for 100.

Pick your favorite JHP and figure out the cost of 100 rounds and compare. I've paid $12 for 20 factory loaded Golden Sabers.

I read the ABC's of reloading and then went through it with a friend a few times. Overall its pretty straight foward and easy, just need to be careful.
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